Friday, 16 December 2011

Would you buy an all-inclusive resort holiday home?

A new scheme offers buyers the choice of purchasing the famous all-inclusive Club Med experience outright or for just three weeks a year on leaseback

Club Med is doing things differently at their new Valmorel resort in the French Alps.

The company is breaking from its all-inclusive holiday business to offer buyers a chance to purchase the freehold of one of their chalet–apartments at Valmorel – a pedestriansed ski-in, ski-out village in France with 150km of slopes. It was launched to British home buyers this month. Prices include unlimited use of the apartment they buy, plus, as you’d expect from Club Med, the use of the resort’s complimentary restaurants, bars, spa and sauna. Prices start at 769,000 euros for a fully furnished three bedroom flat.

To keep things interesting, those who want to buy a property but who don’t want the full commitment of unlimited year-round access to their apartment can opt to purchase their property using a leaseback scheme, in which the owner receives three weeks dedicated use every year. Similarly to those who opt to buy their properties for unlimited use, those taking advantage of the leaseback scheme will also get access to the full Club Med experience, including the complimentary restaurants and bars. Owners can also choose to swap from Valmorel and opt to spend their vacation weeks at selected other top Club Med resorts around the world.

Valmorel is part of a new property strategy for Club Med who are only offering a similar concept at one other resort: their Villas at La Plantation d'Albion Club Med in Mauritius , where buyers get access to the usual luxury resort trappings, but instead of skiing there's use of the nearby Tamarina Golf Course included.
 
These villas, priced from 1,097,000 euros are available either for outright purchase or through a leasehold management scheme which will offer a 4.1% yield. Most of the first phase of the development has already been sold.  

Back in the French Alps, there’s a total of eighty chalet-apartments now available for sale. Each one has its own entrance directly onto the slopes, with a private terrace, log fire, private ski locker, and wi-fi. 

But will the all-inclusive model work for buying the way it does with holidays?
 
Club Med obviously seems to think so. “We believe this will have tremendous appeal to the UK market, as the all-inclusive approach means that the only major expenditure Club Med Villas & Chalets owners will have will be travelling costs,” says the company’s Sylvie Ernoult. 

There’s also a level of flexibility to the offer, which is likely to appeal more broadly.
 
“Purchasers can choose between two attractive investment options; either outright freehold ownership, or a leaseback system with unlimited free use of the Club Med resort’s outstanding facilities and services, but which also enables owners and their families to exchange vacation weeks to stay at other luxury Club Med resorts around the world, whilst still earning a good rental income,” says Ernoult.

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